The Changing Nature of Propaganda: Coming to Terms with Influence in Conflict

Alicia Wanless, Michael Berk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Information has always been used in conflict to sway opponents and mobilize supporters. The seeming complexity of a hyperconnected information environment, lack of commonly accepted definitions explaining it, and often conflicting priorities between tactical versus strategic objectives of persuasion are only a few of the problems encountered by those addressing threats related to organized persuasive messaging, or propaganda. This chapter contributes to this exploration by arguing that the changing nature of propaganda poses numerous epistemological, legal, and political challenges that require a more nuanced attitude toward legitimate persuasion. It concludes by arguing that Western democracies must reassess their uneasy relationship with propaganda in a proactive and transparent manner, in line with evolving realities of the twenty-first century.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe World Information War
Subtitle of host publicationWestern Resilience, Campaigning, and Cognitive Effects
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781000385601
ISBN (Print)9780367496432
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


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